As a financial advisor running your own practice, enhancing your virtual online presence is key to successful growth. This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jennifer Goldman, President and founder of My Virtual COO. My Virtual COO provides an array of services for wealth advisory firms ranging from ongoing tech service and support related to integrations, workflow processes, and more.
They have worked with hundreds of independent investment and financial planning firms, varying in size and location. Read on for more of our conversation with Jen, or check My Virtual COO’s great YouTube Channel.
What inspired you to start My Virtual COO?
I noticed many independent advisory firm owners had no one on staff to devise and implement solutions that allowed for increased growth and profitability while keeping the workload to a minimum. They needed an affordable alternative to hiring a full-time experienced Chief Operations Officer. My motivation was if I could help these independent firms thrive, more consumers could be advised and benefit by having healthier financial futures.
What drew you to work specifically with independent investment and financial planning Firms? Why FinTech?
Having “real” conversations with clients that didn’t focus around transactions. I started my career in the wire house model, and gravitated to independent planning-centric firms because I believe they best serve the needs of today’s consumer. As for Fintech, it’s an area that most advisors are just not knowledgeable. The proper selection and use of technology, integrations and processes are critical to reducing workload, costs, and building trust and confidence with clients and COIs.
You’ve referred many advisors to Twenty Over Ten (thank you!) What stands out most to you about our product or service?
Your industry expertise and ability to manage the entire process; writing, copy, design, tech needed to produce a top-notch website. In addition, your content management system (CMS) is intuitive and that’s important to advisors as they don’t want to be completely beholden to your team making every little tweak or blog post.
For a financial planner just starting out, how would you suggest they begin? Any tips to help them feel less overwhelmed?
Join a local association of planners and local business owners group to exchange ideas and share experiences with peers. An up-to-date, well written, and professional looking website and LinkedIn profile are essential. In addition, use an appointment scheduling tool to help block time and make your availability easily accessible to clients and prospects. Lastly, social media and online marketing are very helpful, but it’s just as important to get out of the office and talk to people face-to-face about your passion of being a planner.
You know a lot of tech! From software to integrations. How have you seen the industry evolve and where do you see it heading?
When I started, no one understood what a CRM was nor acknowledged that operations managers and integrated systems were necessary to allow a firm to grow exponentially. Now most advisors know and understand both concepts so that is great! Now the hurdle is to understand and implement time-savers that also improve the client experience and trust. Thankfully, we’re starting to see more firms drop tech they don’t use and focus on the client experience and time-savers. We are also seeing firms merge, be acquired or handing the “keys” to a successor as advisor owners are more quickly acknowledging their passion for advising and not managing the business and operational systems and changes. This is a great trend as acquiring firms and successors are focused on continual operational improvements using tech and integrations.
In your opinion, what is one star quality any successful financial planner should possess?
The ability to focus on what matters and eliminate, delegate, and automate everything else.
If you can give one small piece of advice for independent investment and financial planning firms in regards to technology and your services, what would you tell them?
Less is more, maximize the use of your tech, partners, and associates.
It was a pleasure getting to know about you and your company, Jen. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us! If you are looking to improve your business with time-saving solutions – Click HERE to schedule a BOOST CALL with My Virtual COO or learn more.
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